The defeat to Manchester United was not the only major blow for Barcelona in midweek, as the club also had to deal with a fitness woe for Ronald Araujo. The key defender had some discomfort later in the game and had to be subbed off.
Shortly after the game, reports suggested that Araujo could be available in today’s game against Almeria, as his discomfort was not too serious. The Uruguayan international was also selected as part of the Barcelona squad for the match.
However, a recent report from Diario SPORT has offered an update on Araujo’s fitness. It reveals the defender had been feeling discomfort from the scars of his previous surgery and was not completely fit during Barça’s last training session before the Almeria game.
The 23-year-old trained on the sidelines and not as part of the first-team. While it initially did ring alarm bells, the defender’s inclusion in the official squad poured water over any fears.
But it appears Araujo is indeed not fully fit heading into this contest and it will not come as a surprise to see Xavi Hernandez handing him a breather in today’s encounter. This could pave the way for Eric Garcia or Marcos Alonso to feature at centre-back.
Araujo has been instrumental in Barcelona’s resurgence in the league since the turn of the year, coupled with the club’s strong defensive record. His partnership with Andreas Christensen, in particular, has made Barça one of the strongest defensive teams in Europe.
Although his potential absence from the starting eleven could be a blow for Barcelona ahead of the Almeria clash, Araujo’s likely rest would make sense considering the fact that the Blaugrana are set to lock horns with Real Madrid in Copa Del Rey on Thursday.